Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Peace Can Not Be Imposed

Former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold rips an article in from The Economist that calls on the United States to impose a solution on Israel and the 'Palestinians.' In the process, Gold undercuts the whole idea that what happens with the 'peace process' has any influence on Israel's relations with Iran or its terrorist proxies (what's commonly known as 'linkage') as well as the current Obama administration proposal to discuss borders and security before anything else.

HISTORICALLY, RELATIONS with the Palestinians and tensions with Iran’s proxies, Hizbullah and Hamas, have been on two completely separate tracks. In April 1996, while prime minister Shimon Peres was negotiating with the Palestinians, the Israeli-Lebanese border deteriorated and Israel was forced to launch Operation Grapes of Wrath against Hizbullah.

Again in 2008, when prime minister Ehud Olmert was in advanced negotiations with both Abbas and the Syrians (through the Turks), there was a massive escalation of rocket fire by Hamas that resulted in Operation Cast Lead.

There was simply no correlation between Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy and the military escalation with organizations supported by Iran.

In fact, from the Iranian perspective if there was a link between the two, it was based on a logic which was the exact opposite of what The Economist proposed: Iran often sought to promote terrorism to prevent Israel and the Arabs from coming to any agreement. Thus, the more diplomacy progressed, the greater the motivation of Iran had to disrupt it.

The remedy of The Economist is as unrealistic as its analysis. It proposes new muscular American diplomacy based on the idea that by drawing a map as “a new starting point,” the parties can be pressured to finish the rest of the details. But what motivation will the Palestinians have to concede anything on security or refugees if they receive their territorial goals of the pre-1967 line on a silver platter? Israel will have lost all its territorial assets and have nothing to trade for concessions.

Finally, The Economist uses the worn argument that the outlines of an agreement are known: namely, the Clinton parameters, which were proposed after the failure of the Camp David and Taba negotiations. They were never signed and certainly cannot bind subsequent Israeli governments.

Labels: borders and security, Dore Gold, linkage, Middle East peace process

posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 8:23 AM

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